By: Shimmy Blum. Bnos Devorah Hall in Lakewood was packed to capacity on Motzei Shabbos Parshas Terumah to celebrate the seventh annual dinner of Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir and, specifically, the exceptional growth in Torah and yiras shamayim that its talmidim experience.
“Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir is kulo l’sheim shamayim,” exclaimed Dinner Chairman Rabbi Chaim Moses, the venerable founder of Keren Even Habochen Ner Moshe, a trailblazing organization that facilitates broad kinyanim in Torah.
The Mesivta’s parents, grandparents, mechanchim and friends in the hall could all attest to the unique level of limud haTorah and cheshek haTorah that talmidim enthusiastically demonstrate – increasingly so with each passing day. For instance, just a few weeks ago, the Mesivta celebrated a grand gala Siyum where half of talmidim voluntarily completed and were tested on Maseches Gittin, which Yeshiva learned last year.
“Just a few weeks after entering Mesivta, my son’s approach to learning progressed very much,” said Rabbi Shalom Schonbrun, proud parent and Keser Shem Tov awardee. Reb Levi Yitzchok Isaacsohn, Amud Hachessed Awardee, related, “My son gives a shiur to ninth and tenth graders, and this gives him such sipuk.”
Once again, as in previous years, a highlight of Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir’s dinner was the honoring of parents who are renowned mechanchim – and chose to entrust the Mesivta with the chinuch of their beloved sons. This year’s “Marbitzei Torah Parents Award” recipients were Rabbi Chaim Benedikt, R”M in Yeshiva Toras Chaim (R’ Slomovits); Rabbi Chaim Shain, Rebbi, Lakewood Cheder; and Rabbi Yechezkel Pitterman, Rebbi, Yeshiva Shaagas Aryeh. The rabbeim spoke glowingly of the exceptional chinuch the Mesivta is providing their sons, all of whom are, bli ayin hora, shteiging immensely in an atmosphere of warmth.
At the core of the Mesivta stands the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shimon Friedman shlit”a, whose ahavas haTorah and ahavas haTalmidim serve as most powerful influences. Expounding upon the Parshas HaShavua, which discusses the building of the Mishkan, and how it was built of the aztei shittim that Avraham Avinu used for his aishel. Rav Friedman spoke of how every parent can ensure that their home, and its walls and floors, can be a bastion of kedusha as well.
The Rosh Yeshiva, with distinct emotion, reminisced about the recent Siyum in Mesivta and the impression it made upon talmidim as to the chashivus of Torah and ruchniyus. Rav Friedman related how one mesayeim refused to accept the generous financial stipend that the Mesivta gave him as a reward. “I’m not willing to give up olam habbah for a few hundred dollars,” he explained. “This is the neshama of Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir,” Rav Friedman exclaimed.
Prior to Birchas Hamazon, the Menahel, Rabbi Leib Klein, and Rabbi Yonasan Paryzer, Maggid Shiur, spoke of the constant aliya visible on talmidim, especially in their genuine cheshek for limud HaTorah. At no time during the day is this more obvious than during bein hasedorim, when most talmidim voluntarily devote time to learn various limudim. “One step, one rung, at a time, our talmidim are constantly climbing higher,” Rabbi Klein summed up.